Singapore, IMO launch NextGEN Connect to promote maritime decarbonization

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have jointly launched NextGEN Connect, a database which aims to bring industry stakeholders, academia and global research centers together to offer inclusive solutions on maritime decarbonization for trials along specific shipping routes. 

The launch took place April 6 during the IMO-Singapore Future of Shipping Conference on day 3 of the Singapore Maritime Week 2022.

The NextGEN Connect Challenge is the next phase of the NextGEN initiative. Launched in September 2021, the NextGEN database presently lists more than 150 decarbonization projects and comprises over 500 stakeholders worldwide, including IMO Member States, shipowners, technology developers, classification societies and non-governmental organizations.

Under NextGEN Connect, diverse stakeholders will be invited to propose robust methodologies to jointly develop, on a pilot basis, route-based action plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between specific points along a shipping route in the Asia Pacific region. 

Delivering the welcome address of the conference, S Iswaran, Minister for Transport and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations said, “It is important for public and private stakeholders to work together in a collective and inclusive manner globally to accelerate the maritime sector’s transition towards a low-carbon future. 

“NextGEN Connect serves as a collaborative platform that matches the challenges of sustainable shipping to diverse solution providers across borders and industries. The platform also shares innovative and successful projects that address common problems in shipping worldwide. In this way, no one is left behind on the access to creative sustainability solutions in achieving the goals of the Initial IMO GHG Strategy.”

Kitack Lim, IMO’s Secretary-General, who delivered the conference’s opening remarks, said, “I am pleased to welcome the launch of the next stage of the NextGEN project. The transition to a decarbonized maritime sector cuts across all aspects of shipping – from the supply and use of fuels to safety matters, port operations and training of seafarers. 

“The trials on the use of new technologies and zero-carbon maritime fuels will support a safe shift, and we must ensure a just and equitable transition that recognizes the need for skills and technology development in developing countries. Collaboration, information sharing, and capacity-building are key to ensuring no one is left behind in the push for the decarbonization of the shipping sector.”

Photo credit: iStock/ altanakin

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